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Sluggish improvements to ad viewability and slow programmatic adoption will put pressure on advertisers to evolve faster to meet client expectations, a new report claims.
The Q3 Media Quality Report released by Integral Ad Science showed viewability only improved slightly in Q3, despite the fact that ad viewability is high on the industry agenda.
Display viewability in Australia only increased by 1.4 per cent over the quarter to 42.2 per cent, while video viewability dropped five points to 32 per cent over the same timeframe.
The results are based on Integral’s work processing hundreds of billions of impressions quarterly across multiple media.
“Media quality has been a hot topic in Australia this year but everyone has agreed that this has been a year of transition in which the focus has been on measuring, learning and resetting expectations,” Integral Ad Science managing director, James Diamond, said. “It's concerning that viewability is lower in Australia than any other country we currently measure in this report.”
Brand risk, determined by the safety of the environment of ads, also saw little movement. Both brand risk for display and video ads scarcely moved, with display up to 17 per cent compared to 14 per cent last quarter and video with a slight decrease of roughly 0.5 per cent.
While other markets have adapted and now trade on viewable impressions, Diamond claimed some publishers in Australia are still treating viewability as a threat instead of an opportunity.
"Some major Australian publishers have always been slow to act," he said. "They were slow to move to digital, slow to adopt programmatic and now they are slowly addressing media quality. As a result the buy side is setting the agenda."
Diamond stressed more pressure from advertisers would help the ecosystem to evolve and adapt faster.
"Some agencies are taking a proactive approach while others are choosing the path of least resistance," he said. "Advertisers need to partner closely with their agency to ensure that the decisions being made are in their best interest or partner directly with an independent media quality vendor to fully understand how their marketing budget is being spent."
“Integral is dedicated to improving the health and quality of digital advertising across the industry,” added Integral Ad Science CEO, Scott Knoll. “This quarter’s lack of significant change in viewability as well as brand risk is a bit surprising."